Thursday, April 26, 2012

New job and other administrative notes

Welcome back! I'm, yet again, on the move. I have done a lot of soul-searching over the 7 years I've been out of school and have had a great range of experiences. I believe I have finally found what I want to do and the perfect company to work for to achieve these goals.

What I'm Leaving
However, I'd like to discuss what I'm leaving behind first. I've been working for Fleishman-Hillard, a premier global public relations firm. The company is filled with bright, creative people and it's no wonder they win so many awards in the industry. I came to them because it was a management position. I believed that was the next logical step in my career. I've been doing development, some administration and architecture, so it would only figure to make the jump to management, right? I found out that I'm not ready to manage people. Lead them on a technical project? Sure! Handle a FMLA request? Please spare me.

I want to stay technical. By staying, I would only have about 30% of my time dedicated to technical work. The other 70% would be split between Project and People Management.

The environment was one of the most interesting I've ever worked on...especially for a corporate portal. Pretty much every SharePoint related acronym is utilized or will/needs to be utilized (BCS, WCM, ECM, etc.). In fact, if you're an administrator or developer looking for a solid company with good benefits and a great environment (both work and technical), let me know and I can get you in touch with the hiring manager. This is the first corporate environment I've been in that is truly investing in the platform and wants to do it the right way.

So, while I'm excited to be moving on to the next role, I am appreciative of the experience I received here.

Where I'm Going
I will be joining Applied Information Sciences (AIS) in San Antonio, TX as a consultant. My family and I will be relocating from St. Louis, MO. We're really excited about the move as we've heard nothing but excellent reviews of San Antonio. AIS is deeply involved in the Microsoft stack and there seems to be a strength in mobility. There are three reasons this opportunity appealed to me. First, to gain the experience needed to further my main two career goals...Microsoft Certified Master in SharePoint and to increase my involvement in the community through speaking, blogging, Twitter, etc.

Working for a single corporation doesn't provide the breadth or depth of experience to even TOUCH the skills needed for the MCM. Typically, I've only worked on a single farm configuration. For example, I haven't been involved with multi-tenancy, Kerberos, or internet sites. I'm assuming the MCM testing requires the candidate to know more about these than that they exist. I've come to like trying to stand up simple farms and would love to dig deeper into configuration and optimization. Even on the development side, there's plenty more to know. Despite wanting to, I haven't had a chance to customize the ribbon and I'd like to learn more about integrating client-side development into SharePoint. The corporate environment, for me, has not given way to the advanced topics due to either lack of need or lack of resources.

I also want to get more involved in the community. I occasionally tweet something relevant, but, as you can tell from my posting history, I rarely blog. My thought is that consulting will lead to many different types of projects that will give me some material to discuss through the various mediums. In fact, I'd like to start speaking at user groups, SharePoint Saturday, SharePoint Conference, etc. My main reason behind this goal is to give back to the community that's bailed me out numerous times.

The second reason for joining AIS is because I won't be confined to just SharePoint. While I know that I'll need a lot of experience with it, I could still work on Azure, MVC, or Windows Phone, among others. I've become more intrigued with Azure and would like to dig deeper into it. Also, I am a mobile junkie. I've tried to teach myself Java in my spare time (read: 5 hours over the last year, probably) just to do Android development. Windows Phone makes plenty of sense because it's already C# and I've had a little more exposure to Silverlight lately. Working on different technologies will feed my geek brain with plenty of cool new topics that I hope to blog about as well.

Finally, working with a company with a great reputation and plenty of strong technologists will help me learn more, faster. I try to read as many blogs and forums as possible, but working with a "rockstar" in SharePoint, SQL, or anything will make me understand the technology better.

Other Notes
Speaking of speaking at SharePoint Saturday, I've submitted a session to both SharePoint Saturday St. Louis and Ozarks. If either or both are picked up, it'll be my first time presenting. I'm really excited about the potential opportunity. Another benefit of this move, I'll be close enough to 4 major cities with good SharePoint communities in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. I'll be submitting to these, as well.

If this session isn't picked up, I'll do a blog/series on the topic, Creating a List-driven Nearby Points of Interest Solution. In fact, I'll probably start generating the blog if/when I start building the presentation. Even if it isn't picked up, I'll probably blog it anyway.

That about wraps things up. I really do hope to be more active in this space soon.


  1. Sam -

    Congrats on your new job!

    As a member of both the Austin and San Antonio SPUGs, I welcome you to San Antonio. We'd love to have you present at either or both of the groups. I look froward to seeing you at the meetings!

    Sharepoint Saturday Houston is this weekend, and I'll be speaking there if you can make it, and I can introduce you around.

  2. Thanks, Jim! I look forward to getting involved with the SPUGs. I'm leaving in a a few hours to find a place to live, but I won't make it to Houston this time. I plan on attending Austin, SA, and Houston every year, for sure, at least as an attendee. Dallas/Ft. Worth will probably be every year as well, but it's a bit further.

  3. I am excited for you Sam! May you reach am surpass the goals that you aspire. San Antonio is a great place,so I here.